Visiting Pope John Paul II High School

Pope John Paul II High School incorporates an innovative program into the student experience: Innov8. Innov8 provides an opportunity during the school day for students to explore their interests with teachers who are experts in their field. The Pope John Paul II High School Innov8 classes provide a challenging and supportive environment where trial and error are encour­aged, students develop skills through practice and where they are inspired to take risks in their learning. The Innov8 program offers a stimulating […]

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Visiting STEM School Chattanooga

STEM School Chattanooga is opening its doors for anyone who is interested in witnessing a school that uses technology as a gateway to cultivate students’ inquisitive nature, exercises innovation, thinks critically, and collaborates to develop leaders who are self-sufficient learners. STEM School Chattanooga is one of seven STEM platform schools in Tennessee that have a focus on innovating educational practices. This STEM school site visit will be student led, and participants are actively encouraged to interact throughout the tour experience […]

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A Look Ahead: STEM Efforts to Grow in 2017

TN STEM in 2017

The new year is set to be another exciting opportunity for expanding STEM teaching and learning in Tennessee.  As the first month of the new year ends, let’s look at the year ahead for the Network and the opportunities for educators at all district and school levels to join us on the journey: Tennessee STEM School Designation In November 2016, the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) released a STEM Strategic Plan to serve as a roadmap for ensuring our state’s students […]

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STEM School Site Visits Starting Soon

Schools across the state of Tennessee are integrating STEM in different ways. There are multiple benefits to observing pioneering strategies at work. Benefits for Teachers and Leadership: Experience new environments Increase enthusiasm Reflective conversations about their work Build capacity Develop new strategies for STEM integration Concrete examples of what works There are eleven schools across the state who have agreed to open their doors this spring to share the innovative STEM work they are currently doing. School Location Date & Time  STEM School […]

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The Power of Observation

A good teacher is always looking for ways to become a better teacher. Just as a good school is always looking for ways to become a better school.  As a STEM teacher, one of the most powerful professional development tools I’ve ever experienced was visiting a neighboring STEM school and talking with the faculty and students about their experiences implementing STEM. That focused school visit allowed me to gain insights in to what other teachers, students, and administrators felt were […]

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2017 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest


A Rube Goldberg Machine™ is a comically involved, complicated invention, laboriously contrived to perform a simple operation. Building a Rube Goldberg Machine incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematics, not to mention art, teamwork, and perseverance! Students use cooperation and communication to apply their knowledge from across the spectrum of STEM and STEAM-based learning. These tasks cultivate their creativity and critical thinking skills, and immerse them in the engineering design process as they work together to design and test their machine. […]

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New Year; New Semester; New STEM Activities on MakerMinded!


The holiday season is all about gratitude. In Tennessee, we are privileged with some of the most outstanding and committed STEM teachers anywhere in the country. To retain these amazing teachers in Tennessee, we need to elevate and recognize the incredible commitment and effort they put forth each and every day. Effective STEM teachers develop hands-on lessons in the classroom and seek outside opportunities for students to apply their learning to outside STEM activities and competitions. Through MakerMinded, we want […]

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